Herricks Union Free School District spotlights student voices at opening day convocation

Herricks Union Free School District spotlights student voices at opening day convocation
Herricks students are all smiles following their presentations at the district’s annual opening day convocation where they related to attendees why Herricks is special to them. Denton second grader Riley Xu, left, Searingtown second grader Isla Powers, Herricks Middle School eighth grader James Persad, Center Street fifth grader Sophia Wang and Herricks High School twelfth grader Julia Yam, right. (Photo courtesy of Herricks Public Schools)

On August 30, over 600 members of the Herricks School District administration, faculty and staff joined Superintendent of Schools Dr. Tony Sinanis in the high school gym for the annual opening day convocation, a spirited assembly celebrating the start of the new school year.

The festivities began with a rousing A cappella performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” performed by three members of the high school choir. This was followed by messages of pride and gratitude by board of education vice president Henry Zanetti, Teacher Association President Nidya Degliomini and Administrative Association President Karen Hughes, each praising the team for their passion and tireless dedication to the Herricks students and highlighting their commitment and goals for the upcoming year.

Before making his remarks, Dr. Sinanis introduced five students who were invited and asked to describe why Herricks is special to them. The students, ranging from second to twelfth grade and representing each of the district’s five schools, highlighted the love and support they receive from their teachers and the entire Herricks community, the lifelong friendships they have formed, the feeling of inclusion and much more. Their sincere messages resulted in smiles and enthusiastic applause from the attendees, some of whom were thanked by name by the students for their guidance, inspiration and support.

Dr. Sinanis’ remarks highlighted the opportunity for a fresh start as the district prepares for the upcoming school year. He thanked the facilities team for their hard work to get the schools ready, mentioned the upgrades that took place over the summer and spoke from the heart about his inspirations and goals. Overall, his message of community and camaraderie rang loud and clear as he reiterated the importance of communication, teamwork, kindness and fairness and reaffirmed his commitment to lead by example.

The event finale was provided by tenth grader Shaania Bolar who offered a moving rendition of the Natasha Bettingfield song “Unwritten”, which includes the lyrics “Live your

life with arms wide open, today is where your book begins.” The perfect message as the Herricks team ventures into a new and exciting new year.

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